MT. VERNON — Implementing the new Illinois Common Core Standards will be one of the key topics at the upcoming 34th Annual Mt. Vernon Conference, said Conference Coordinator Angie Mills.
The two-day educational in-service is expected to draw over 1,500 educators from across the state. It will be held Oct. 24 and 25 at Mt. Vernon Township High School.
The Common Core Standards establish new requirements for student learning in English language arts and math, and will be a dominant theme of many of the conference workshops. Evaluation systems and technology will also be main topics.
“Most sessions either focus on or are directly giving instruction on the Common Core Standards,” Mills said of the conference. “It's a heavy topic.”
The conference is sponsored by Ron Daniels, Regional Superintendent of Schools of Hamilton-Jefferson Counties, along with two other regional superintendents: Keri Garrett of Clinton, Marion, and Washington Counties; and Matt Donkin of Franklin and Williamson Counties.
Illinois Computing Educators and Rend Lake College are also major sponsors.
As in year's past, this year's conference will feature a variety of instructional workshops in one-hour and two-hour blocks.
Presenter Ann Garrett will conduct sessions on Common Core literacy and how educators can incorporate writing into every-day instruction.
The importance of writing to the new standards cannot be over-stated, she said.
“Everything has to align with the Common Core,” Garrett said. “I think (the conference) is very beneficial. They do a good job of providing topics for everyone. During the sessions, people interact, share ideas, and come away with things they can use in class.”
Garrett is a part-time librarian at MVTHS and a senior lecturer at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
She said she is excited about the Common Core Standards and how they encourage students to be more creative.